The campaign to achieve the parliamentary vote for women (6 February 1918) took 52 years, from 1866 to 1918. During that time women and their male supporters employed both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary tactics, ranging from the presentation of petitions to the detonation of bombs.
The campaign will be examined, concentrating on the work of the constitutional suffragists as well as on the more notorious suffragettes. Although the latter group steals the headlines, it was the efforts of the former that slowly eroded the deep-seated prejudice that had characterised women, as Keats put it, as ‘milk-white lambs, bleating for man’s protection’ - a phrase deeply scorned by the suffragists. The lecture will discuss which of the groups was more successful in achieving ‘Votes for Women’.
Elizabeth Crawford is an independent researcher and author of a number of books on the women’s suffrage movement – including ‘The Women’s Suffrage Movement: a reference guide’, ‘Campaigning for the Vote: Kate Parry Frye’s Suffrage Diary’, and ‘Art and Suffrage: a biographical dictionary of suffrage artists’.
She is also the owner of 'Woman and Her Sphere', a business specialising in selling antiquarian books, pamphlets, postcards and ephemera by and about women.